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Thread: Some Like it Dark

  1. #1

    Some Like it Dark

    Some like it dark and I'm one of them.
    I bought a pair of sort of cool looking trifocal transition lenses sun glasses last summer, with the idea of having to only deal with one pair of glasses that I need for both close and far while touring. After riding a few times, I was disappointed, to say the least when I discovered that behind a helmet shield, or for that matter inside a car, they would not turn completely dark. Since I mostly ride with the face shield up in order to inject the smells and surroundings into my helmet, it wasn’t a big deal.

    But then today's ride happened, and what a surprise! Any chemists in the crowd?

    Minnesota temp today is in the teens today, and I just got back from a great 80+ mile ride on the hidden twisties along the Mississippi. I went down to see the bald eagles that start to line the shores each year in wait for the fish near Redwing and Wabasha, MN.

    The lenses are dark! The cold temperature apparently for some reason, results in the glasses getting pitch dark inside the shield, where in nice termps, they get sort of pissy gray.

    Any ideas of why this occurs?

  2. #2
    no, but i have noticed the same thing.

  3. #3
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    I cannot comment on the effects of temperature on the transition lenses, but I believe they become more sensitive to light as they age. Perhaps that is what you are experiencing; and I take it that would be a good thing.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  4. #4
    Registered User froggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I have had several pairs of Trans. over the years and every seller told me to sit them out in the sun several times so they can "Transition Completely".
    We drove all this way for a DEAD END ! My son!!!
    02 Silver RT1150 My 1st BMW Bike ...Totaled 2/23/16
    13 Black R1200RT 90th Annv

  5. #5
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Mississauga, Ontario
    For what it's worth a couple of quick ideas. I'd suggest that behind a visor or in a car there isn't enough UV getting to the lenses to cause them to darken. My optician said car glass reduces UV and helmet visors do it also. It's possible that on your eagle trip you were exposed to direct sunlight, maybe when watching the eagles. Second thought, is that at this time of year the sun is lower in the sky and more in your face when riding, so more light hit the lenses since you said you ride with visor up. I don't know if temperature would affect the transition level or speed of transition, cool usually slows things down.

    Any opticians out there who know?
    Last edited by walterK75; 11-21-2010 at 12:42 PM. Reason: correcting a sentence

  6. #6
    I remember asking my optician about this years ago and he warned me about the lenses not darkening behind a car's windshield. I asked if they would darken at all. He said that maybe by only 10% - 15%, but not enough for me to hardly notice. I bought a pair a few months ago and didn't ride with them because of being told by others that they wouldn't darken behind my helmets shield.

    A while back I was reading a discussion about this on one of the boards and the consensus was that some brands of helmet shields block the UV rays and some don't. I then decided to do an experiment with my Scorpion EXO-700. I put my glasses behind the helmet's shield on a sunny day and placed it in my driveway. To my surprise the lenses darkened. It appeared that they were as dark as they normally get while not behind a shield, if not, it was close.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Naperville, IL
    I am on about my 5th pair of transistion lenses and have not experienced what you descirbe. My optomitrist told me when I got the first pair to 'condition' them by placing them in the freezer for an hour. I have done so with each pair I have used and only 1 pair required re-conditioning after a couple years. They get plenty dark behind the full face shield and the car windshield.

    You might give it a try.

  8. #8
    Scottish Transplant Picinisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    The Desert Southwest, AZ
    I like the progressive lens glasses that I wear since I can now see everything on the bike and around the bike, however the transition, as stated, does not take place behind the clear visor. This was excruciating returning from the rally to AZ via Vancouver BC. The bright sun had me screwing up my eyes which is very tiring. I now have a helmet with a retractable sun visor and that does the trick for me.
    2004 R1150GS 1978 R75G/S Frankenbike
    Gilbert, Arizona

  9. #9
    Ute's Chauffeur
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Central NY
    I am thinking of trying this lens. It is available as a prescription and turns dark based on visible light not UV, therefore can be used behind a windshield/visor.

  10. #10
    Polarizing glasses behind a curved helmet visor may not be a good thing. Lighting hitting the visor from the side can have some of its components twisted, resulting in part of the light being blocked due to polarization. This leaves you with one eye seeing normal colors and the other looking through a color cast. Freaky!

    I forget if it was my Arai or Schuberth, but when heading north or south at sunrise or sunset everything seen through the eye on the side of the sun had a dark, purple cast. Eventually I figured out it was due to the polarized lenses.

    Another possible issue is with LCD displays. The displays often have a polarizing screen. If the axis is different than your glasses all you can see is a dark grey or black panel.

  11. #11
    John. jstrube's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Atwater, CA
    Some models of cars use glass that is blotchy when viewed through polarizing glasses. Kind of funny. Some are & some are not. It is pretty brand dependant

  12. 01-08-2011, 12:28 AM

  13. #12

    Pinlock Solution

    I wear prescription bifocals. At my last checkup, I bought a pair of transitions and a pair of sunglasses since I knew the transitions would not 'darken' behind the shield or the windshield in the cages. Works well but requires carrying both. When I went to the Pinlock shield system to cure the fogging in my Arai Profile, I got one each of the visor inserts on a whim. For me, this was the right move. Since they take up hardly any room in the bag, I carry them with me all the time. It only takes a bit more time to change an insert than it does to change glasses. So, now I only carry my regular glasses, have the benefit of an anti-fog system that actually works, and one that allows me to easily adapt to varying light conditions. [The Pinlock inserts are clear, yellow, orange, light tint, and dark tint.] Now, some folks don't like the fact there is a small 'open area' around the outer edges of the inserts. I don't mind this at all. In fact, I find nice that I can tilt my head up a bit to look through this area, and the reader portion of my bifocals, at the dash/map/GPS/etc when necessary. Just one person's opinion. YMMV
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

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